The alignment of a paragraph — left, right, centered or justified — seems like a simple setting at first, but actually has some interesting twists, due to the options of “first-line indented” and “hanging”.
- Most contracts nowadays use “hanging” content, to ensure that the number/bullet is nicely separated from the actual content of a paragraph. In fact, paragraphs with bullets will almost always be “hanging”. Note that hanging paragraphs require you to additionally specify the amount of hanging.
- Regular (non-hanging) left alignment or justification is often used in contracts with long clauses, because it avoids the space wasting at the left side when the number of each clauses would be hanging to its left side.
- First-line indents seem somewhat out of fashion, but are sometimes used nevertheless. Their advantage is that they visually indicate that a new paragraph is starting. Similar to hanging paragraphs, you have to additionally specify the amount of the first-line indent.
These settings define the amount of spacing at the left, right, bottom and upper side of each paragraph in the clause, as well as the spacing between each line of text.
Most users of Microsoft Word are familiar with the spacing at the left side of a paragraph, due to the indent button in the toolbar of Microsoft Word. Most users are not familiar with the spacing above & below a paragraph, not only because these settings are hidden in Word’s paragraph settings dialog box, but also because it seems so much easier to simply hit Return/Enter to create a blank line. However, adding blank lines should be avoided, because it creates all kinds of problems.
Thanks to its clause-based approach, ClauseBase naturally avoids this problem of extraneous blank lines.
These settings are fairly straightforward, and should not require many explanations.Use the underline option sparingly, and use bold or italic instead. Underlining is a reminiscent from the past, when typewriters did not offer easy possibilities to create bold or italic text, so that underlining was often the only option to draw attention to certain text fragments. From a typographic perspective, underlining is problematic, because the lines cut through letters with parts below the baseline (such as a -g and -f).